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SECURE SYNOPSIS: 8 October 2020


NOTE: Please remember that following ‘answers’ are NOT ‘model answers’. They are NOT synopsis too if we go by definition of the term. What we are providing is content that both meets demand of the question and at the same time gives you extra points in the form of background information.


General Studies – 1


 

Topic : Modern Indian history from about the middle of the eighteenth century until the present- significant events, personalities, issues.

1. Discuss the contributions of social reformers of 19th century in the making of modern India. (250 words)

Reference: Modern Indian history by Bipin Chandra

Why the question:

The question is from the static portions of GS paper I.

Key Demand of the question:

Discuss the contributions of social reformers of 19th century in the making of modern India.

Directive:

Discuss – This is an all-encompassing directive – you have to debate on paper by going through the details of the issues concerned by examining each one of them. You have to give reasons for both for and against arguments.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Start by suggesting key social reformers of 19th century.

Body:

The main body should focus on how early social reformers wanted to enlighten Indians that Sati, infanticide etc. should be banned not because that would be conformant with the European ideals of rationalism, empiricism, monotheism and individualism but because they are not allowed in the Indian religious text. How they wanted to preserve the society while changing the behaviors of its members.

Discuss different contributors of the social reforms.

Conclusion:

Conclude with importance of their contributions.

Introduction:

The conquest of India by the British during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, exposed some serious weaknesses and drawbacks of Indian social institutions. As a consequence several individuals and movements sought to bring about changes in the social and religious practices with a view to reforming and revitalizing the society. These efforts, collectively known as the Renaissance.

Body:

Social reforms and making of modern India:

  • The reform movements of the nineteenth century were not purely religious movements. They were socio-religious movements. The reformers like Rammohun Roy in Bengal, Gopal Hari Deshmukh (Lokhitavadi) in Maharashtra and Viresalingam in Andhra advocated religious reform for the sake of “Political advantage and social comfort”.
  • The reform perspectives of the movements and their leaders were characterised by a recognition of interconnection between religious and social issues. They attempted to make use of religious ideas to bring about changes in social institutions and practices. For example, Keshub Chandra Sen, an important Brahman leader, interpreted the “unity of godhead and brotherhood of mankind” to eradicate caste distinctions in society.
  • Reform from Within:
    • The technique of reform from within was initiated by Rammohun Roy and followed throughout the nineteenth century.
    • The advocates of this method believed that any reform in order to be effective had to emerge from within the society itself. As a result, the main thrust of their efforts was to create a sense of awareness among the people.
    • They tried to do this by publishing tracts and organizing debates and discussions on various social problems.
    • Rammohun’s campaign against sati, Vidyasagar’s pamphlets on widow marriage and B.M. Malabari’s efforts to increase the age of consent are the examples of this.
  • Reforms through Legislation:
    • The second trend was represented by a faith in the efficacy of legislative intervention.
    • The advocates of this method –Keshub Chandra Sen in Bengal, Mahadev Govind Ranade in Maharashtra and Viresalingam in Andhra-believed that reform efforts cannot really be effective unless supported by the state.
    • Therefore, they appealed to the government to give legislative sanction for reforms like widow marriage, civil marriage and increase in the age of consent.
  • Reform Through Symbol of Change:
    • The third trend was an attempt to create symbols of change through non-conformist individual activity. This was limited to the ‘Derozians’ or ‘Young Bengal‘ who represented a radical stream within the reform movement.
    • The members of this group prominent of them being Dakshinaranjan Mukherjee, Ram Gopal Ghose and Krishna Mohan Binerji, stood for a rejection of tradition and revolt against accepted social norms.
    • They were highly influenced by “the regenerating new thought from the West” and displayed an uncompromisingly rational attitude towards social problems.
  • Reform Through Social Work:
    • The fourth trend was reform through social work as was evident in the activities of Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar, Arya Samaj and Ramakrishna Mission.
    • There was a clear recognition among them of the limitations of purely intellectual effort if undertaken without supportive social work. Vidyasagar, for instance, was not content with advocating widow remarriage through lectures and publication of tracts. Perhaps the greatest humanist India saw in modem times, he identified himself with the cause of widow marriage and spent his entire life, energy and money for this cause.
    • The Arya Samaj and the Ramakrishna Mission also undertook social work through which they tried to disseminate ideas of reform and regeneration.
  • Creating unity through reform:
    • In the evolution of modem India the reform movements of the nineteenth century have made very significant contribution. They stood for the democratization of society, removal of superstition and abhorent customs, spread of enlightenment and the development of a rational and modem outlook.
    • Among the Muslims the Aligarh and Ahmadiya movements were the torch bearers of these ideas. Ahmadiya movement which took a definite shape in 1890 due to the inspiration of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian, opposed jihad, advocated fraternal relations among the people and championed Western liberal education.
    • The reform movements within the Hindu community attacked a number of social and religious evils. Polytheism and idolatry which negated the development of individuality or supernaturalism and the authority of religious leaders which induced the habit of conformity were subjected to strong criticism by these movements.
    • The opposition to caste was not only on moral and ethical principles but also because it fostered social division. Anti-casteism existed only at a theoretical and limited level in early Brahmo movement, but movements like the Arya Samaj. Prarthana Samaj and Rama Krishna Mission became uncompromising critics of the caste system.
    • More trenchant criticism of the caste system for its abolition, as evident from the movements initiated by Jotibha Phulle and Narayana Guru. The latter gave the call-only one God and one caste for mankind.
    • The urge to improve the condition of women was not purely humanitarian, it was part of the quest to bring about the progress of society. Keshub Chandra Sen had voiced this concern: ‘ “no country on earth ever made sufficient progress in civilization whose females were sunk in ignorance”.

Conclusion:

 An attempt to change the then prevalent values of the society is evident in all these movements. An attempt was made at the modernisation of the Indian society and appeals were made to reason, rationalism and tolerance. The scope of their activities was not confined to religion only but included the society as a whole. Although they devised different methods and were also separated by time, they showed a remarkable unity of perspective and objectives. They gave a vision of a prosperous modem India and subsequently this vision got incorporated in the Indian National Movement.

 


General Studies – 2


 

Topic : Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests.

2. “Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (Quad) has become as a mode of geopolitical signaling today”, in the context of the statement explain the coming and relevance of Quad as of today. (250 words)

Reference: Hindustan Times

Why the question:

The editorial talks about Quad and in what way it has gained a mode of geopolitical signaling today.

Key Demand of the question:

Explain in detail the coming and relevance of quad as of today.

Directive:

Explain – Clarify the topic by giving a detailed account as to how and why it occurred, or what is the particular context. You must be defining key terms where ever appropriate, and substantiate with relevant associated facts.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Briefly explain what quad is.

Body:

The Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (QSD, also known as the Quad) is an informal strategic forum between the United States, Japan, Australia and India that is maintained by semi-regular summits, information exchanges and military drills between member countries.

Discuss the original Quad was a disaster-relief exercise. It broke up, came together again, and then struggled to find convergence among its members.

Explain its relevance as of today, present situations to justify.

Conclusion:

Conclude with way forward.

Introduction

The past year has seen the revival of the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue, a mechanism which enables dialogue between four major democracies within the Indo-Pacific region, Australia, Japan, India, and the US, on issues of regional security. Known more colloquially as “the Quad”- its revival signals an important development within the Indo-Pacific, and reflects a convergence of strategic interests between four major democracies of the region.

Body

Quad: Significance

  • The Quad first emerged as a cooperative response to the devastation of the 2004 tsunami, with the navies of India, Australia, Japan, and the US engaged in the coordinated delivery of humanitarian and disaster relief.
  • In 2007, Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, an early advocate of the Indo-Pacific, took steps to formalise the grouping through an initial summit and joint naval exercises in the Bay of Bengal.
  • Underscored by principles of openness, freedom of movement, and respect for the rules-based international order, the Quad builds on a complex and overlapping web of bilateral and trilateral alliances and partnerships between the four nations.
  • Its revival, albeit at officials level only, offers a constructive platform for embedding core principles into the narrative of the emerging regional order, while building the trust and confidence needed to support cooperative initiatives between the nations involved, and others.

Quad as a mode of geopolitical signaling:

  • In the current scenario, given Chinese intransigence and our misreading of their imperialist-expansionist intent, Sino-Indian tensions are likely to persist.
  • If India is not to cede ground physically or diplomatically, it must muster all elements of its “comprehensive national power”, including the maritime, and create a strong negotiating position.
  • Apart from the balance of forces on land favouring China, there is also the Beijing-Islamabad Axis that awaits activation.
  • Keeping tensions confined to the Himalayan arena is, therefore, not only militarily advantageous to China but a continental focus also helps to keep India contained in a “South-Asia box”.
  • It is also time to seek an enlargement of this grouping into a partnership of the like-minded.
  • Other nations feeling the brunt of Chinese brawn may be willing to join an “Indo-Pacific concord” to maintain peace and tranquillity and to ensure observance of the UN Law of the Seas.
  • News of Australia being re-invited to participate in the Quad deserves a conditional welcome, given Canberra’s past inconsistency and political flip-flops.

Way forward

  • Any ambition to formalise the Quad as a substantive manifestation of a free and open Indo-Pacific is likely to encounter difficulties. The future of the Quad beyond its current consultative format is not certain.
  • Given the complex array of interests at play across the dynamic region, key partners are more likely to preference loose coalitions based on dialogue and cooperation over more fixed, institutionalised formats.
  • The opportunity to discuss emerging regional issues, from piracy to maritime pollution and disaster management, through such a platform should be seen as a positive.
  • At the same time, assuring ASEAN of its role and relevance to Indo-Pacific, including through established dialogue mechanisms like the EAS, could reinforce notions of inclusivity, build support for the key rules shaping behaviour, and mitigate against the threat of strategic drift within the region.
  • Engaging others, including China, in dialogue about the Indo-Pacific project through such mechanisms will be integral to realising the long-term vision for a stable and inclusive region.

Conclusion

The time for ambivalence is over and while India will have to fight its own territorial battles with determination, this is the moment to seek external balancing. It is also time to seek an enlargement of this grouping into a partnership of the like-minded.

 

Topic : Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.

3. Why early learning in mother tongue is more effective but hard to implement in India? Examine. (250 words)

Reference: The Hindu

Why the question:

The Andhra Pradesh government has approached the Supreme Court challenging its State High Court decision to strike down a government order which made English medium education compulsory from classes I to VI in primary, upper primary and high schools under all managements from 2020-21.

Key Demand of the question:

One has to analyse why early learning in mother tongue is more effective but hard to implement in India.

Directive:

Examine – When asked to ‘Examine’, we must look into the topic (content words) in detail, inspect it, investigate it and establish the key facts and issues related to the topic in question. While doing so we should explain why these facts and issues are important and their implications.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Start by discussing in general the significance of mother tongue in child education.

Body:

Early schooling in a child’s mother tongue, as recommended in the new National Education Policy, can improve learning, increase student participation and reduce the number of dropouts. However, this would need new books, fresh teacher training and more funding.

Present the hurdles in implementing such a policy in India – Parents prefer to send their children to ‘English-medium’ schools regardless of the quality of education they offer because of the perception that mastery of the English language ensures success  in later life. For example, in 2017-18, about 14% of those who were enrolled in private schools in India’s rural areas and 19.3% in urban areas chose a private school because English was the medium of instruction.

Suggest a balanced opinion as to what needs to be done.

Conclusion:

Conclude with a fair and balanced opinion.

Introduction:    

Mother tongue or mother language refers to the language which a person has grown up speaking from early childhood. India is a land of linguistic diversity and the languages differ in their dialects every 100 kms. There have been many arguments and dissatisfaction over having a single national language (Hindi) for entire country. The Vice president of India recently said that mother tongue vital for survival of civilisation and every country must encourage their children to study primarily in the mother tongue.

Body:

Effectiveness of Mother Tongue:

  • Mother tongue is the very first language that one hears, understands and gets familiar with. Thus, it plays important role in shaping feelings, emotions and thought processes.
  • Use of mother language helps one in getting comfortable with his/her cultural identity.
  • Maintaining mother languages is necessary for preserving cultural heritage and identity.
  • Dissemination of mother languages encourages linguistic diversity, thus inspires solidarity based on understanding, tolerance, and dialogue.
  • When languages disappear, the world loses a rich tapestry of cultural identity.
  • Opportunities, traditions, memory, unique modes of thinking and expression, valuable resourcesfor ensuring a better future also get lost.

Impediments to implement mother tongue in early learning:

  • Limited learning environment: Learning materials refer to items that aid in the learning process. Books may be a necessary material, but books are not enough by themselves.
  • Language transfer designates the interference of the mother tongue in second language learning.
  • One of the barriers in mother language learning is most of the students; do not get better language experience from their primary classroom.
  • Obstacles arise when there is lack of understanding between a context where a learner lives and the difficulty of a language task given to the students.
  • Untrained teachers: Most of the teachers do not know about how to introduce a curriculum in native language to the student according to their interest.
  • Lack of interest and motivation are the most important obstacles in learning in mother tongue.
  • Scope: The heavy dominance of English in higher education leaves limited scope for native language early education.

Way forward:

  • With the help of technology, every mother language can be maintained. Google’s Project Navlekha in India is an example. The project is aimed at increasing the online content in Indian local languages.
  • People should be made aware of the professional viability of pursuing degrees in native languages. With a degree in a native language, one can take up professions like Language Expert, Translators, and Tourist-Guide etc.
  • Also to maintain any native language, it is necessary that it is spoken. Use of native languages at homes, schools, and offices should be encouraged.
  • The Upper House of India has an arrangement for interpretation of 22 languages i.e. members are encouraged to speak in their native languages.
  • Countries like France, Germany, Italy, China have developed their mother languages as a powerful medium. Other countries need to learn from these to preserve their cultural and linguistic identity.

Conclusion:

It is our strength that we have many languages and dialects. All other languages are important. But one should respect, learn and understand their mother tongue. According a hegemonic role to the “most-spoken” language in the country may promote cultural homogenisation, but that is hardly desirable in a country with a diverse population, a plural ethos and is a cauldron of many languages and cultures. Further, national identity cannot be linked to any one language, as it is, by definition, something that transcends linguistic and regional differences. The need today is to respect, protect and nurture diversity of our nation so that unity is ensured.

 

Topic : Functions and responsibilities of the Union and the States, issues and challenges pertaining to the federal structure, devolution of powers and finances up to local levels and challenges therein.

4. Discuss the causes of Inter-State Water Disputes in India; also state the reasons for delay in resolving river water disputes. (250 words)

Reference: The Hindu

Why the question:

Andhra Pradesh and Telangana have had differences between the sharing of water resources post the bifurcation of the erstwhile state of Andhra Pradesh. Thus the question.

Key Demand of the question:

Discuss in detail the causes of Inter-State Water Disputes in India; also state the reasons for delay in resolving river water disputes.

Directive:

Discuss – This is an all-encompassing directive – you have to debate on paper by going through the details of the issues concerned by examining each one of them. You have to give reasons for both for and against arguments.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

The Inter-State River Water Disputes are one of the most contentious issues in the Indian federalism today.

Body:

Start by hinting first at the constitutional provisions; Entry 17 of State List deals with water i.e. water supply, irrigation, canal, drainage, embankments, water storage and water power. Entry 56 of Union List empowers the Union Government for the regulation and development of inter-state rivers and river valleys to the extent declared by Parliament to be expedient in the public interest. And talk about Article 262.

Then list down the causes of Inter-State Water Dispute with examples.

State the reasons for delay in resolving river water disputes.

Conclusion:

Conclude with possible solutions.

Introduction:   

India has seen protracted river water sharing disputes in recent years. Depleting groundwater, drying rivers and increasing demand for water have led to long legal wrangles between warring states. But very soon, India might have a single national tribunal — the Inter-State River Water Disputes Tribunal — to arbitrate inter-state water disputes. Its recommendations will be binding on the competing parties. Over the years, there have been several tribunals hearing disputes between states on river water sharing, but they have not been effective in resolving disputes in a time-bound manner. While there are suggestions for reconsidering and reviewing the structuring and functioning of the tribunals, there is also a need to look for an alternative mechanism, based on environmental thinking, to resolve such disputes effectively, amicably and sustainably. 

Body:

Provisions related to interstate river water disputes:

  • Entry 17 of State List deals with water i.e. water supply, irrigation, canal, drainage, embankments, water storage and water power.
  • Entry 56 of Union List empowers the Union Government for the regulation and development of inter-state rivers and river valleys to the extent declared by Parliament to be expedient in the public interest.
  • Article 262: In the case of disputes relating to waters, it provides
    • Clause 1: Parliament may by law provide for the adjudication of any dispute or complaint with respect to the use, distribution or control of the waters of, or in, any inter-State river or river valley.
    • Clause 2: Parliament may, by law provide that neither the Supreme Court nor any other court shall exercise jurisdiction in respect of any such dispute or complaint as mentioned above.
  • The Interstate (River) Water Disputes Act 1956: provides for the resolution of disputes. Under its provisions, the disputes are to be adjudicated by ad-hoc, temporary and exclusive tribunals.

Causes of Inter-State Water Dispute: 

  • Water is a finite resource and its demand has increased several times in agricultural, industrial and domestic sector than what is available at present as the country is growing and lifestyle is changing such as increased urbanization.
  • The moment water is accumulated at a large scale, it gives rise to dispute where commissions come into play and this goes on.
  • This is also more of a political issue because when these disputes are used as emotive issues, all parties jump in, several vested interest are created which leads to further problems like bandhs and strikes.
  • There is a huge debate on development/growth versus environment as well. Problems are also related with the storage of water such as dams, using it for production of electricity etc. which lead to disputes.
  • There is an administrative system at present which is in conflict with what people want.

Reasons for delay in resolving river water disputes:

  • The Centre takes years to decide whether a matter needs to be heard by a tribunal in the first place—for example, the Godavari and Krishna disputes started around 1956 but the matter was referred to a tribunal only in 1969.
  • After the tribunal has been formed, it again takes many years to pronounce its award—it took nine years from reference in the case of the Narmada tribunal.
  • Adjudication by tribunals involves long-drawn adversarial litigations causing chronic delays.
  • The arrangement deprives the states of an avenue to redress their grievances after the tribunals are dissolved.
  • There is an institutional vacuum for implementing tribunal awards. The law entrusts the Central government with the responsibility of framing institutions for implementing tribunal awards. The government is at a loss as there are no proven institutional models for interstate coordination.
  • Disputes have become sites of political mobilisation in our multi-party democratic setting. Political parties often ride on the emotive associations and notions of identity to animate and escalate disputes. The disputes offer opportunities for grandstanding, and engaging in vote bank politics.
  • This nexus between water and politics often subverts and sabotages the resolution. Finally, realising water allocations in monsoon deficit years is the most contentious issue between states.
  • There has not been any instance of satisfactory and successful distress sharing practices. At the centre of the Cauvery dispute lies this major difficulty.
  • The states have disagreed with the tribunal’s recommendation for a proportional reduction of shares during distress times.

Way forward:

  • The Centre’s proposal to set up a single, permanent tribunal to adjudicate on inter-state river water disputes could be a major step towards streamlining the dispute redressal mechanism. However, this alone will not be able to address the different kinds of problems—legal, administrative, constitutional and political—that plague the overall framework. To strengthen the cooperative federalism, disputes must be resolved by dialogue and talks and the political opportunism must be avoided.
  • The need to work at the basin level for which River Basin Organization should be created.
  • The Centre’s proposal to set up a single, permanent tribunal to adjudicate on inter-state river water disputes could be a major step towards streamlining the dispute redressal mechanism.
  • There should be cooperation and consensus among the states.
  • However, this alone will not be able to address the different kinds of problems—legal, administrative, constitutional and political—that plague the overall framework
  • Environment is a huge challenge in coming days on which increasing water needs and industrialization requirements to address it serious policy reforms should be done.
  • Centre’s proposal to set up an agency alongside the tribunal, which will collect and process data on river waters, can be a right step in this direction.
  • To strengthen the cooperative federalism, parochial mindset making regional issues superior to national issues should not be allowed.
  • Awareness level between the states.
  • So disputes must be resolved by dialogue and talks and the political opportunism must be avoided.
  • A robust and transparent institutional framework with cooperative approach is need of the hour.

Conclusion:

The Inter-State River Water disputes (Amendment) Bill, 2019 is a step towards the cooperative federalism and will promote a prompt decision making in case of the various interstate water disputes. The solutions on water disputes will help in the socio economic development of stakeholder states. The implementation of the proposed steps in the bill in its true spirit will develop an integrated regime of river water utilisation.

 


General Studies – 3


 

Topic : Major crops-cropping patterns in various parts of the country, – different types of irrigation and irrigation systems storage, transport and marketing of agricultural produce and issues and related constraints; e-technology in the aid of farmers.

5. The century’s most valuable innovation in farm management is based on using Information and Communications Technologies, in such a context discuss the importance of precision farming to Indian agriculture. (250 words)

Reference: pib.gov.in

Why the question:

The article highlights about the session on “Sensors and Sensing for Precision Agriculture” was organized under “Precision Agriculture” by ICAR-Indian Agricultural Research Institute with total participation of 1019 including 38 panelists on 05th October 2020, as part of the Vaishwik Bhartiya Vaigyanik (VAIBHAV) Summit 2020.

Key Demand of the question:

Discuss and elaborate in what way the century’s most valuable innovation in farm management is based on using Information and Communications Technologies.

Directive:

Discuss – This is an all-encompassing directive – you have to debate on paper by going through the details of the issues concerned by examining each one of them. You have to give reasons for both for and against arguments.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Start by defining what precision farming is.

Body:

In the answer body first explain in what way information and technology-based farm management system identifies, analyses and manages variability in fields by conducting crop production practices at the right place and time and in the right way, for optimum profitability, sustainability and protection of the land resource.

Discuss the importance of adopting precision farming by the Indian farmers. List down the advantages and concerns if any.

One can present case studies to substantiate better.

Conclusion:

Conclude with way forward.

Introduction:

                “Sensors and Sensing for Precision Agriculture” was organized under “Precision Agriculture” by ICAR-Indian Agricultural Research Institute as part of the Vaishwik Bhartiya Vaigyanik (VAIBHAV) Summit 2020. This is a Government of India initiative to bring together the thought process, practices, R&D culture of Overseas and Indian scientists/academicians through a series of structured deliberations and constructive dialogue, and develop a road map for translational research/academic culture for tangible output and strengthening the S&T base for providing the impetus to endeavour of Aatma Nirbhar Bharat.

Body:

ICT in farm management:

  • An information and technology-based farm management system identifies, analyses and manages variability in fields by conducting crop production practices at the right place and time and in the right way, for optimum profitability, sustainability and protection of the land resource.
  • Although a considerable research effort has been expended, it is still only a portion of farmers who have practiced any type of precision agriculture (PA) technologies system approach to re-organise the total system of agriculture towards low-input, high-efficiency and sustainable agriculture.
  • Precision farming is an approach where inputs are utilised in precise amounts to get increased average yields, compared to traditional cultivation techniques. In India, one major problem is the small field size. More than 58 per cent of operational holdings in the country have size less than one hectare (ha).
  • Only in the states of Punjab, Rajasthan, Haryana and Gujarat do more than 20 per cent of agricultural lands have an operational holding size of more than four ha. Commercial as well as horticultural crops also show a wider scope for PA in the cooperative farms.
  • Sustainable PA is this century’s most valuable innovation in farm management that is based on using Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs). This is the most recent innovation technology based on sustainable agriculture and healthy food production and it consists of profitability and increasing production, economic efficiency and the reduction of side effects on the environment.

The importance of precision farming to Indian agriculture:

  • Precision farming enables climate-smart agri-business:
    • Climate-smart agriculture is necessary for achieving the goal. PA at the appropriate level in food insecure countries is also a powerful tool once it is applied appropriately, based on local crop and site-specific conditions.
    • Consequently, the adoption of new techniques in less-developed areas should start with a basic, affordable, and effective mix of technologies and practices.
  • Agricultural extension via digital advisory services:
    • Adoption of best practices is critical and digital communication is necessary to bridge the technology gap.
    • Agricultural extension plays a key role in technology dissemination and the private sector is increasingly active in this domain.
    • Today, Digital Advisory Services (DAS) are either part of the offering of input providers or stand-alone for profit, typically start-up platforms. In the first case and with few exceptions, existing free DAS is a differentiation tool to promote the use of the manufacturers’ core products.
  • Drip irrigation:
    • In addition to its advantages over other types of irrigation for improving yields, drip irrigation is the best delivery system for soluble fertilisers. It also drastically reduces the propagation of weeds and the need for herbicides.
  • Solar pumps:
    • Solar pumps that lift well water to feed drip systems are a benefit multiplier. Yet the introduction of solar pumps is slow despite their zero carbon footprint and low-maintenance photovoltaic technology.
    • According to official estimates, over twenty million well pumps operate today in India, roughly split between electric and diesel at a solar unit cost ranging from $1,500 to $10,000 for multiple farmers.
    • Changes to subsidy policies now underway may help pave the way for mass adoption and hence further increase the role of private firms contributing to the proliferation of solar pumps.
  • Soil and crop monitoring:
    • Imagery-equipped drones are often technically and financially affordable for small farmer communities, also particularly suited for small plots and contract farming. Early detection and correction of soil and crop deficiencies is a win-win proposition for both farmers and off-takers.
    • If purchased and operated by large agri-businesses, the investment in drones and imagery analysis can be factored into the produce price paid to farmers.
    • Extending the usage of equipment for soil and crop monitoring to farming cooperatives and contract farms also benefits from new forms of capex utilisation led by the private sector, now spreading from developed countries into emerging markets.
  • Other reasons:
    • To increase agriculture productivity
    • Prevents soil degradation
    • Reduction of chemical application in crop production
    • Efficient use of water resources
    • Dissemination of modern farm practices to improve quality, quantity and reduced cost of production
    • Developing favourable attitudes
    • Precision farming changing the socio-economic status of farmers

Way forward:

  • Identify the niche areas for the promotion of crop specific precision farming
  • Creation of multidisciplinary teams involving agricultural scientists in various fields, engineers, manufacturers and economists to study the overall scope of precision agriculture
  • Provide complete technical backup support to the farmers to develop pilots or models, which can be replicated on a large scale
  • Pilot study should be conducted on farmers’ fields to show the results of precision agriculture implementation
  • Creating awareness among farmers about consequences of applying imbalanced doses of farm inputs like irrigation, fertilisers, insecticides and pesticides

 

Topic : Challenges to internal security through communication networks, role of media and social networking sites in internal security challenges

6. With Digital space today serving as the scene of sex crime, the urgent need of making social media accountable can not be less emphasized. Analyse. (250 words)

Reference: Indian Express 

Why the question:

The article brings to us the bleak side of digital spaces of today’s times and in what way they have become scenes of sex crime.

Key Demand of the question:

Analyse in what way digital spaces of today have made people vulnerable to sex crimes.

Directive:

AnalyzeWhen asked to analyse, you have to examine methodically the structure or nature of the topic by separating it into component parts and present them as a whole in a summary.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Set the context of the question in short.

Body:

Briefly first talk about rising incidences of invasion of sexual privacy and different forms of online harassment prevalently being witnessed.

Present some statistics suggesting the severity of the issue – The scale of the problem can be gauged from the half-a-million reports of revenge porn received per month by Facebook alone.

Explain the grave concerns and challenges involved. Given that the digital space is increasingly serving as the scene of unprecedented sex crimes, there is a dire need for an impactful solution.

Suggest set of solutions to address the issue.

Conclusion:

Conclude that With the world’s largest population of young people, vulnerable to new mutations of deeply scarring sex crimes, the criticality of the PIL filed in India’s Supreme Court to establish an efficient mechanism to remove sexually-graphic abusive content and to seek accountability from social media platforms cannot be overemphasized.

Introduction:

                Interactions in the public sphere always require a higher degree of care and integrity compared with interpersonal communication. With the advent of information technology, public visibility of personal communication and expression of ideas and emotions happen in a rapid pace. Social media platforms are the modern-day guarantor of freedom of speech and expression. Numbers of social media users are increasing day by day especially among the young people. It gives people a space to share their voices, it has empowered the voiceless.

Body:

However, crimes such as revenge porn, cyberstalking and slut shaming are so common to the modern world that revolves around social media. Crowd reporting mechanism used by social media platforms to maintain order in their space has proved to be largely inefficient in addressing these offences. However, even while these crimes are taking a steep rise, they are not being subjected to serious debates and discussions. Cases that are being reported before the public are many times fewer than the actual number of crimes that are happening on social media and many such cyber-aggressions do not get viewed even as crimes.

Crimes on digital space:

  • Online Threats
  • Stalking
  • Cyber bullying
  • Revenge Pornogprahy
  • Hacking and Fraud
  • Buying Illegal Things
  • Identity Theft
  • Trolling and defamation

Need for Social media accountability:

  • Social media sites have been accused, not without justice, of improper use of their immunity, in relation to matters that are not related to public life, publishing revenge porn being merely an extreme example.
  • Traditional media would not be spared for errors of judgement of this kind, nor should social media. In order to enforce such accountability, social media content generated by or/and on Indian users must be stored on servers located in India.
  • Once informed of their carrying content that is mala fide, social media should be obliged to remove such content within a reasonable time frame. When they operate in India, social media companies should follow all Indian laws.
  • Justice delivery mechanisms appear to be very complex and inaccessible to women and the marginalised when it comes to offences related to social media.
  • Owing to the technological complexity associated with cybercrimes, evidence collection and investigation are very complex and it’s often impossible for the agencies to hold the perpetrators accountable before law.
  • While the police may succeed in collecting evidence and prosecuting the perpetrators of such crimes, it can do little to clean up the mess left behind on the internet, the root cause of the victim’s suffering.
  • The anonymity that social media ensures to the violators makes the subject even more complex.
  • Reporting of such non-consensual content by victims to the concerned social media platforms is often of no avail. The scale of the problem can be gauged from the half-a-million reports of revenge porn received per month by Facebook alone.
  • The violence on social media platforms is generally being addressed under the penal provisions which deal with conventional offences such as sexual harassment, violation of privacy, criminal intimidation and defamation. These appear to be largely insufficient to deal with these techno-motivated crimes.

Way forward:

  • The more important intervention is demanding accountability and responsiveness from social media giants for law enforcement and investigation purposes.
  • Several countries have begun negotiating tough laws on the issue, including a time-bound removal of social media content declared illegal, fines as high as 50 million euros on tech companies, and even imprisonment of their executives in extreme cases of non-compliance of requests made by law enforcement authorities.
  • With the world’s largest population of young people, vulnerable to new mutations of deeply scarring sex crimes, the criticality of the PIL filed in India’s Supreme Court to establish an efficient mechanism to remove sexually-graphic abusive content and to seek accountability from social media platforms cannot be overemphasised.
  • Enacting a more stringent law to deal with crimes on cyberspace will act as a deterrent as well hold the perpetrators accountable.

 


General Studies – 4


 

Topic: Case study

7. A building permitted for three floors, while being extended illegally to 6 floors by a builder, collapses. As a consequence, a number of innocent labourers including women and children died. These laborers are migrants of different places. The government immediately announced cash relief to the aggrieved families and arrested the builder.

Give reasons for such incidents taking place across the country. Suggest measures to prevent their occurrence. (250 words)

Reference:  Case study

Why the question:

The question is premised on the illegality of the site construction and the effect of it on poor labourers including women and children.

Key Demand of the question:

One has to analyse and give reasons for such incidents taking place across the country. Suggest measures to prevent their occurrence.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Comment on the incident, identify the victims and hint on the core issue that caused it.

Body:

Start listing the reasons for such incidents – Greediness on the part of builders. No proper mechanism for monitoring the construction buildings which have already taken permission: whether they are constructing in according to the permission taken or not, Corruption among town planning officers , building permission granting authority, Under staffing of the department, Political interferences in giving permissions, No fear among the culprits, because conviction rate is very low in our country, Investigative system and judiciary work at lower pace in our country etc.

Suggest measures to prevent such incidences from happening.

Conclusion:

Conclude with way forward.

Introduction:

                Illegal construction is construction work (or the result of such) without a valid construction permissions. Besides the potential technical hazards on uncontrolled construction sites and in finished buildings, illegal building activity can be a major environmental violation when the works encroach upon preserve areas like nature reserves. Likewise, illegal building can have serious political implications when it is practiced as land grabbing or for illegal settling in foreign territories.

Recent collapse of Jilani building in the powerloom town of Bhiwandi points to the crisis of illegal constructions. Most of the victims of these collpases are innocent labourers or civilians.

Reason for Illegal Constructions:

  • Poor maintenance of land records.
  • Over population
  • Haphazard urbanisation
  • Builder Lobby pressure: has seen huge margins in such development work. They purchased agriculture land on low cost from farmers in bulk. They do not go for approval of layout plan or building sanctions
  • Inaction by Police Officials: Police department also keeps quite during the constructions of such illegal properties. Officials indulging in corruption do not disturb such illegal constructions.
  • Willingness of Property Buyers: These persons are also responsible for such illegal constructions. They also understand the risk of such properties but their lack of respect towards the law makes them
  • Lending institutions: Lending institutions are also equally responsible by way of funding in such illegal constructions areas. The lending institutions know the risk of funding in such area but for high yield business they never stop it.
  • NHB & RBI: These regulators send the guidelines to the lending institutions but they do not verify implementation part of their policies. They should also ensure timely implementation of their policies in the lending institutions.
  • Law Firms and Valuation Agencies: These agencies are majorly on fault by way of providing subjective positive reports to the lending institutions. Despite of knowing all the facts about such properties they release positive reports to the lending institutions with demand of such documents which are not exists for such properties.

The construction of unauthorized structures on unauthorized land is a serious problem that the government and various states in India are fighting against. Although various laws and demolition campaigns have helped to shed light on such activities, much more still needs to be done before the country is completely rid of this curse.

Measures to prevent to illegal construction:

  • All the illegal encroachments must be razed immediately.
  • Those indulging in illegal constructions must be fined heavily. They must also be prevented from indulging in construction work for a period of five years and they must be blacklisted so that potential buyers are aware.
  • It is also important to ensure that proper awareness campaigns are held so that citizens are aware of the consequences of being involved in activities such an illegal construction and encroachments. It is the duty of both the civic body as well as citizens to ensure that such illegal activities are prevented in the city.
  • Municipal authorities must seek to proactive weed out illegal structures and send a stern message violators to prevent this for happening again.
  • A law must be brought in wherein builders and promoters must be made culpable in reulstant death from illegal construction.

Conclusion:

The Indian economy is growing at a fast pace. In order to cope with the demand of the sprawling population, it is required that the planned blueprint be followed to the last letter. The abomination of unauthorised construction can be a threat to the development of our society in the long run. It is the need of the hour that unauthorised construction not just be stopped, but such existing structures be removed as well.


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